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What the Nose Knows…
A common checkpoint of dog and puppy health is the nose. The rule is a thumb – er.. nose – is a cool wet nosed dog is a happy healthy dog. And that is actually a pretty good rule. But does that mean that if your furry bud has a warmer dry nose that he is sick? Not necessarily. Let’s break down this nose business a little bit.
First of all, a big part of the wet nose is simply that dogs love to lick. The happier and healthier a dog is, the more he flops that tongue around to any place that will have it – THEIR face, YOUR face, THEIR feet, YOUR arms – and so on. I probably don’t need to go on, just thank goodness for that antibacterial tongue, that’s all I’m sayin’! But one place that happy flopping tongue always ends up is the nose which helps keeps it good and wet. Yes there is some science in there too. Panting cools things off around the snout and then there are some nasal glands that drain around the nostril so that helps keep things nice and moist too.
Okay now what if Muffin’s nose is not so wet? What if it’s cracked and dry?
Is Muffin a Pug? Or some other breed whose nose isn’t so accessible to the tongue? Some dog’s tongues can’t reach their nose so they automatically become an exception to the wet nose rule. Some dryness and cracking is normal. You need to follow all the usual rules of noticing changes in appearance and behavior.
A dog’s nose will run hot and cold, wet and dry all day long. A moment of dryness is no reason for alarm. As is always the case with your pet, all we’ve got to go on in any situation is behavior. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if all our four legged, two winged, swimming or slithering pets could speak? But they can’t, so we observe. And periodic moments of dryness alone are probably not signs of illness. But if that snout is more dry than normal, more frequently than usual, the color or texture changes or it is accompanied by other uncommon symptoms, there could be a problem. Dry nose accompanied by a decrease in energy level, lack of appetite, is always reason to consult your vet.
So basically what we know from the dogs nose is that if it’s all wet and moist, and he’s got a big appetite and lots of energy, it’s a good bet he is healthy and feeling good.. Just remember – “runny” and “moist” are not the same thing. A runny nose could be a sick nose or allergic nose so check with your Vet if Fido has that going on, as well as any other out of the ordinary conditions.